Mad Catz: MS could/would not block us

Wireless-N Xbox 360 adapter wars begin.

Mad Catz has told Eurogamer that its Wireless-N Gaming Adapter could not and would not be blocked by Microsoft, despite having the same functionality for a lower price.

"Let me make a couple of things very very very clear," explained Alex Verrey, Mad Catz spokesperson. "A lot of sources have been commenting that Microsoft are going to come and lock it out and stop it working or whatever. Well it doesn't work like that because it plugs into the Ethernet port of the Xbox 360 or indeed the PS3 - both consoles pick it up as a wired connection.

"There's absolutely no way that Microsoft could conceivably lock it out," he said. "They can't lock it out and nor would they want to."

Verrey made it very very very clear that this is "not a licensed Microsoft product" but said the platform holder is one of Mad Catz' treasured partners.

"Microsoft is a licensee of ours. We would never ever do anything to put Microsoft's nose out of joint as it were, and we would never look to battle against them in any way by producing a cheap knock-off product," explained Verrey.

Mad Catz' Wireless-N network adapter costs 49.99 whereas Microsoft's official Wireless-N adapter costs 59.99. The former is out now; the latter will be released on Friday 20th November.

"I'm not prepared to publicly come out and say, "Yes it's better than..." added Verrey. "It uses Wireless-N technology so they both essentially do the same thing.

"We think ours has got a series of features that you might not find on others including the official Microsoft one. Ours for instance is compatible with PS3 and other devices and ours comes with a one-meter Ethernet cable, which means you don't have to have it tethered to your machine if you want to move it around."

Verrey wouldn't comment on why no one else has done this before, and said Mad Catz tries simply to stay on the "cusp" of new technology and so has been researching this Wireless-N adaptor "for a while". "In fact, we didn't even know that Microsoft were bringing out their Wireless-N adapter at the same time," promised Verrey.

He went on to say that the Modern Warfare 2 range of Mad Catz goods had sold very well, and that there will be the brand new Street Fighter IV Round 2 Arcade FightStick here before Christmas, featuring new artwork by Udon painters.

The peripheral maker has some top secret products in development too. "We are going to be announcing some significant new products that we know are just going to blow you guys away. They're going to be announced at CES [in January]," Verrey told us.

"Can I give you guys a hint? Um... I think fighting fans are going to be happy. We've got some brand new licences that we're looking forward to talking about and that's all I'm going to say at the moment because I'm going to get myself into trouble."

It's not motion-sensing boxing gloves is it?

"Ahhh haa haa hahahaaaa," bellowed Verrey. "I'm not going to say a word, Rob - you're not going to be able to cajole that out of me!" [Get a room. - Ed]

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